Charlie Dickinson

CHARLIE DICKINSON, US Fire Administration

Chief Dickinson and Mr. Burchesky first became acquainted in 1992 when Mr. Burchesky was producing emergency procedure programs. Chief Dickinson was, at the time, Pittsburgh Bureau of Fire, Fire Chief. Chief Dickinson was later appointed as Deputy Administrator by President Bush with USFA. As Administrator, Chief Dickinson managed all day-to-day operations of the USFA's National Emergency Training Center facility and oversaw all projects and programs of the USFA and FEMA leadership. Charlie is our go-to guy with answers to a myriad of procedure issues.


FIRE SERVICE WORK HISTORY 1962-2008                                                                                      

Chief Dickinson began his 46-year fire service career as a firefighter in 1962 in the City of Hayward, California, Fire Department. Rising through the ranks, he was promoted to Battalion Chief in 1981 and served for three years (1983-86) in the Hayward Fire Department as the city's Emergency Services Coordinator.

In 1986, Chief Dickinson was appointed as an Assistant Fire Chief of the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Bureau of Fire. As an Assistant Chief,  managed the Operations Division and the Training Division. In September of 1988, he was appointed to the position the Fire Chief of the Pittsburgh Bureau of Fire and served in that capacity for 10 years before retiring from the Bureau in 1999. As Fire Chief, he was responsible for operations, and training, for both FIRE  and EMS response within the bureau, as well as all Fire Prevention activity's, through a work force of  firefighters, officers and staff of 875 and 32 fire stations

Throughout his career, Chief Dickinson has served on numerous committees and projects for the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and other national organizations. He has also been a frequent instructor in the Command and Control Curriculum at USFA's National Fire Academy.

A sampling of career highlights as Deputy United States Fire Administrator:

  • Acting USFA Fire Administrator (October 2005 until July 2007)
  • Lead the USFA’s transition from FEMA to DHS Preparedness (2005/2006)
  • Directed the retooling and national roll out of EENET into PREPnet.
  • Oversight of the implementation of the USFA Action Plan
  • Facilitated and coordinated in 2001 the implementation of the Assistance to Firefighter Grant Program (AFGP)
  • Led the National Federal Fire Working Group
  • Represented USFA on the National Wildland Fire Leadership Council 
  • Coordinating all NFA training development and USFA activities to support of the President's and Department of Homeland Security's National Incident Management System (NIMs) efforts.
  • Immediately after Katrina, directed the deployment through FEMA of approximate 4,000 (2 person firefighter teams) to Community Relations/Liaison Teams in the 3 state Katrina immediate impact area
  • Immediately after 9-11 working directly with the New York City Fire Department (FDNY) World Trade Center Incident Commander (WTC-IC),  FDNY Fire Command Officers, and Federal Forest Service Overhead Team, and US Fire Administration deployed staff helped to establish an ICS system with operational area's at ground zero  including an operational Planning Section

Following Hurricane Katrina with its devastating impact on the City of New Orleans, the New Orleans Fire Department (NOFD) requested of the U. S. Fire Administration assistance to plan for their recovery and reconstitution.  Chief Dickinson directed this effort which resulted in the establishment of a cooperative agreement with the International Association of Fire Chiefs.  The process involved a facilitated process with a small group of nationally recognized experts providing technical recommendations and planning assistance to NOFD.

Chief Dickinson continues to volunteer his time by working with the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF) to remember fallen firefighters and their family survivors supporting the NFFF funding as the National Golf Coordinator for 39 Local Fund Raising Tournaments during 2010 for the NFFF. Chief Dickinson continues to speak at national conferences and conventions on subjects such as Fire Incident Command Operations and Prevention Programs.


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